Government’s new mobile policies attract an investment of PKR 21 billion, create 10,000 jobs

The implementation of DIRBS has increased the import of mobile devices via legal channels by 62 percent, generating revenue of PKR 46.27 billion.

Pta launches DIRBS - a system designed to identify non-compliant devices operating on local mobile networks.
Pta launches DIRBS – a system designed to identify non-compliant devices operating on local mobile networks.

The Director Type Approvals and Device Identification Registration & Blocking System (DIRBS) Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) Nauman Khalid, stated that owing to Government’s new mobile policies, 26 mobile manufacturing plants had been established in Pakistan.

According to reports, these 26 plants have brought in an investment of over $126 million (approximately PKR 21 billion) and created over 10,000 jobs in a short span of seven months.

Mohammad Naveed, Chairman PTA, Mr. Abdul Samad, Member Compliance and Enforcement, and many others attend the launch ceremony of DIRBS held at PTA headquarters.
Mohammad Naveed, Chairman PTA, Mr. Abdul Samad, Member Compliance and Enforcement, and many others attend the launch ceremony of DIRBS held at PTA headquarters.

Why were these mobile manufacturing plants established?

Speaking about the manufacturing plants, Nauman Khalid said:

The government of Pakistan introduced the Mobile Manufacturing Policy in June 2020 to encourage local manufacturing. Subsequently, the PTA issued Mobile Device Manufacturing (MDM) Regulations in 2021, which was a major milestone in the country’s journey towards “Digital Pakistan.” As of July 2021, the PTA issued MDM authorization to 26 companies, including foreign and local companies, with brands like Samsung, Vivo, Oppo, Nokia, Alcatel, Techno, Infinix, etc. Within seven months of MDM authorization issuance, 12.48 million mobile devices were manufactured locally, including over 5 Million 4G smartphones..”

 

He further stated:

One company has also exported 5,000 “Made in Pakistan” smartphones to the UAE. All of this was possible with the establishment of 26 manufacturing plants, which brought in an investment of over US$ 126 million. Over 10,000 jobs were created in a short span of 7 months. The local manufacturing plants will be instrumental in creating further job opportunities, enabling affordability for Pakistani users, and export of devices to global markets.

Visit DIRBS’s official website to verify your mobile’s IMEI number.

About DIRBS

As per Nauman Khalid, the PTA developed the world’s first open-sourced Device Identification Registration & Blocking System (DIRBS). This system aims to curtail substandard/counterfeit mobile phone usage, discourage mobile phone theft, and protect consumers’ interests. With the help of DIRBS, the following has now become possible:

  • Blocking of prohibited devices in the market while helping legitimate device importers
  • Blocking of counterfeit devices (i.e., replicas of original devices)
  • Blocking of illegally imported devices (import tax not paid)
  • Blocking of devices with invalid or duplicate IMEIs, stolen/lost devices

How does DIRBS work?

Reports state that DIRBS is a centralized system that takes input from GSMA, Consumers, CMOs, and importers/ original equipment manufacturers (OEM) and generates the following three lists:

  • White list: IMEIs of devices that are PTA type-approved and legally imported.
  • Black list: IMEIs of stolen/reported lost category and will not be allowed services.
  • Exception list: IMEIs which do not belong to either white or black list and for which wireless communication is allowed.
DIRBS securing the future of Pakistan's mobile networks and compliant devices.
DIRBS is securing the future of Pakistan’s mobile networks and compliant devices.

Positive Impact of DIRBS

The implementation of DIRBS has increased the import of mobile devices via legal channels by 62 percent, generating revenue of PKR 46.27 billion. According to reports, 38.14 million devices were imported in 2020 with a revenue of PKR 54 billion, and in 2021 (so far), 20.91 million devices have been imported through legal channels.

Following the launch of DIRBS, the connectivity of smartphones on the local networks has been increased from 35 percent to 51 percent as of July 2021. Moreover, DIRBS has enabled PTA to block 175 thousand devices IMEIs reported as stolen. The system has also identified and blocked 26.03 million fake/replica mobile devices from local networks. DIRBS also helped identify and block 880,780 cloned/duplicated IMEIs against 5.28 million MSISDN.

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